Like most of you, as 2020 draws to a close, I am looking forward to next year with great optimism. I think there will be some big wins in 2021 for gaming operators that are aware of the forces shaping payments technology.
Today, a trifecta of regulation, technological advancement and consumer demand is driving rapid change in gaming payments. Beyond how players choose to pay, these forces also affect the overall player experience and offer ways for both online and land-based operators to improve operational efficiency.
Below, I’ve outlined four big trends in payments that operators should pay attention to today, and in the year to come. These are complex topics, so I will provide a brief overview here, and share some links for a deeper dive into each topic.
Regulation will accelerate paytech progress
Operators who target players in the EU should be aware of the EU’s Payment Service Directive 2 regulation. Going into effect on 31 December 2020, PSD2 provides a legal framework for open banking payments (also referred to as online banking payments).
PSD2 requires that all EU banks use standardised APIs, which makes it possible for licensed fintech vendors like Truslty to initiate payments for all EU bank customers. The standardization will make open banking payments more widely available and more consistent for consumers across the EU.
PSD2 also requires that all online payments are authorized using two-factor authentication. For card payments, the process is a bit clunky, whereas with an open banking payment, the authentication is integrated in the payment flow, often with the consumer using biometrics such as fingerprint or face ID to identify themselves in their banking platform.
For operators who want to offer their players the open banking payments option, there are some key things to consider before choosing a technology partner. Most Payment Initiation Service Providers do only what their name says – initiate payments.
To really succeed with open banking, operators need a full-service partner like Trustly that can also provide a payout solution, reconciliation services and the infrastructure to rapidly process payments. If you want to learn more about open banking, I suggest you check out the Trustly Knowledge Hub.
Open Banking payments will see rapid growth in the UK
As I mentioned above, open banking in the UK has been lagging behind European markets. But today, open banking is about to see a huge rise in consumer adoption in this market, as my colleague Liam Colclough covered in his recent article on SBC News.
Thanks to PSD2 and domestic standardisation initiatives, all consumers in the UK can now use services like Trustly to easily make purchases directly from their bank account. Now, UK players can get in action faster and skip the process of entering long card numbers and extended KYC information.
While card payments are still by far the most popular payment option in the UK, I think that will change quickly when people see how safe and easy open banking payments are. That’s especially true of young, “digital native” players who demand a modern experience.
Land-based operators will continue their cashless evolution
Like so many businesses, land-based casinos and retail gaming operators are all certainty looking forward to the end of the current lockdowns. Players are just waiting for the movement when they can return to the interaction, excitement and camaraderie of gaming in real life.
As my colleague Sam Barrett recently explored on SBC News, when players do finally get out of the house, they will have less cash on them than ever before.
Our Scan N Play solution, launched earlier this year, makes it possible for land-based operators to extend the digital payment experience to their customers. As we have done for online platforms, Scan N Play combines KYC and the deposit into one seamless flow.
Beyond the hygiene factor and meeting customer preference, going cashless offers a number of benefits, including easier adherence to AML measures and the reduced administration of cash handling.
Additionally, both operators and players can set limits on how much they can deposit with Scan N Play, ensuring that even the most enthusiastic players stay responsible.
Payment technologies will provide wider value for operators
As I discussed in an article published earlier this year on SBC News, I believe that the continual development of open banking technology will fuel plenty of exciting innovation in 2021 and beyond – much more than just moving money from one point to another.
Trustly has always been on the forefront of innovation in payments, with our Pay N Play product completely changing the way gaming users register, get verified and play in multiple markets, especially in Sweden and Finland.
As the Pay N Play revolution continues to spread across Europe, more than 150 brands are live with this product, and we’re looking to replicate the success of this product in other markets in 2021.
Today, Trustly provides operators with much more than just a payment technology; we also support KYC, AML, responsible play and fraud prevention. As the technology advances, we will be able to help operators more easily comply with local regulation and launch innovative new products.
Trustly has been a pioneer in our field, but our competition is increasing. In the spirit of sportsmanship, I welcome competition, because it will drive the creation of even more value for operators.
In 2021, As we continue to expand our presence in the Americas and other markets outside Europe, Trustly will remain focused on providing speed, security and innovation for gaming operators, just as we have been doing it for the past 12 years.